tom. but let me slide over and evade your question and -- >> no, no, no. >> look, i think it's clear that when you're in the middle of an election campaign, whoever you are, you have less flexibility. so i think more was made -- >> it's a different kind of relationship with russia, which is after all vehement that we're not talking about very much and it has big stakes in iran. >> i think we have to deal with russia. they are on a player on a number of issues that are important to us. and we have to feel out the relationship now with putin who is being very aggressive. >> we're almost out of time. we have five seconds here. >> i don't think that the united states of america can be effective if we stand with the forces of autocracy. that's fundamental. >> i have to make that the final word. thanks to all of you here. quick programming note, stay with nbc news for special coverage of president obama's inauguration starting tomorrow on "today." that's all for today. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."